Once again, some fucker in a black robe rules based on what he wants the Constitution to mean rather than what it actually means.
The fact of the matter is, the actual, physical printing press is part of an old model of doing business. This is something that Douglas Adams had worked out ten years ago:
Over the last few years, I've regularly been cornered by nervous publishers or broadcasters or journalists or filmmakers and asked how I think computers will affect their various industries. For a long time, most of them were desparately hoping for an answer that translated roughly into "not very much." But its a hard question to answer because its based on a faulty model. It's like trying to explain to the Amazon River, the Mississippi. the Congo, and the Nile how the coming of the Atlantic Ocean will affect them. The first thing to understand is that river rules will no longer apply.
God do I wish I'd written that
Let's take a look at the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not the book, published on Earth, mind you, but that wholly remarkable book published out of Ursa Minor Beta. About the size of a TI-83 graphics calculator, with a screen a shade bigger, it was less a book and more a means of accessing a great wealth of data on the subjects of Life, the Universe, and Everything that was beamed to it via Sub-Etha waves
Science Fiction, right?
A few years ago I stumbled upon a shiny, sexy device. About the size of the hardcover edition of Stephen Hawking's Universe in a Nutshell, which is to say of slightly lesser dimensions that a sheet of letter-sized paper, and about an inch thick. it opened like a book to reveal two LCD screens, one on either side.
The applications of such a device are obvious. However, what was missing at the time was a means of delivering the data. Today, we have WiFi.
So we have the display device, and the delivery system. All that remains is the implementation, and that is fast approaching. Seatle is in the process of being completely WiFi-ed, and other cities will follow. Wifi is the thing that will render actual, physical newspapers, books, and magazines to be permanently obselete.
Imagine you're having luch with a freind at a restaurant, and he mentions a book he's reading in casual conversation. You get the idea that this is the sort of book that you might like to read, so where previously you would have had to write down the name of the book, and then at some point make your way to a library or bookstore, in the process forget all about this book and wind up buying some fucking "101 ways to
So now you're reading this book. Depending on how well the writer or publisher is making use of the technology, you may be able to say, tap your finger on a word you don't understand, and have the definition pop up, not just the dictionary definition, but what the word means in context. Also, if it makes reference to a book that you think you might like, all you need to do is go to the bibliography, and follow a link to it. It will do to books what DVD technology did to film.
in terms of online news and magazines, the improvements are dramatic. You now have access to news the very moment it's submitted. Perhaps you even programmed your reader to alert you to new developments in a news story, or breaking news. Maybe you find yourself on the scene. You can use this same device to blog what you see. If you're like me, you do so in the style of Gonzo, and thus you have an entirely unique article covering the matter published online. Perhaps you were the first to submit about it.
In any case, such a method would almost completely remove the need for the printing press, and, once again in the words of Adams, remove the need to pay, "for all the trees that need to be pulped, the vans that have to be feuled, and the marketing people whose job it is to tell you how brilliant they are"
And, to come full circle back to my original point, blur the line between blogging and journalism to the point at which defining either as being separate from the other simply won't be worth the bother.
However, should this judge have his way, the principal difference between a blogger and a journalist in the eyes of the court would be that one of the two is infinitely more likely to be in the employ of a gynormous media conglamorate.
and you know, I don't think that AOL Time Warner would shed a single tear if that were to happen